College of DuPage COACH program wins 2019 Learning Resources Network International Award
Faculty and staff from College of DuPage's COACH program (Career Opportunities and ACHievement) are recipients of the 2019 Learning Resources Network International Award for programming. LERN is the world's largest association of continuing education professionals.
The award recognized the COACH program as an international model for noncredit/community programing. COD was selected from a competitive field of more than 200 applications.
"All of the faculty and staff are so grateful to be recognized for this remarkable program," said Julie Konczyk, COD Youth Academy and Adult Enrichment program manager. "The COACH program's success is due in no small part to dedicated staff throughout the college working together to go that extra step for our students. This collaboration has served to enrich the lives of our COACH students and provide critical opportunities to young adults in our district facing limited options to pursue their educational and career goals."
Offered through COD's Continuing Education program, the COACH program is a two-year, application-based program targeting adults with mild intellectual or developmental disabilities. It also provides post high school transition students with additional educational training aimed at preparing them for meaningful employment.
The program is broken up into four semesters.
Year one is focused on skill building.
Students review and build skills in fundamental math, literacy and computer technology, and begin to explore career paths.
In the final year, students gain practical experience by engaging in job shadowing activities and internships on and off campus.
In addition to the academic aspect of the program, students are encouraged to participate in campus social life by joining clubs and participating in campus activities. Students are paired with a COD Buddy, a student trained in working with students with intellectual disabilities.
COD Buddies act as ambassadors and mentors to COACH students, providing them a connection to the social aspect of the college experience.